A woman picks up flowers from a garden center in Long Beach, California. Photo: Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

The coronavirus outbreak has driven a surge in cooking, baking and gardening across the United States, as most Americans are mandated to remain at home except to get essentials.

The big picture: The renewed interest in food and cooking during the pandemic may extend beyond the need to eat. Daily creative projects can help reduce stress and promote well-being, according to a study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology.

  • 90% of Americans are concerned about the coronavirus, according to an Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.
  • 37% of Americans surveyed said their emotional health had declined as of mid-April.

The state of play: Baking yeast sales surged by 647% for the week ending March 21, according to market research firm Nielsen, the Wall Street Journal reports.

  • King Arthur Flour’s website had sold out of yeast and a number of flours by the end of March, but planned to restock within days, the company said. And March was the company's busiest social messaging month, it told the Washington Post. The company received 22,000 messages in the first three months of 2020, more than double the messages it had received in all of 2019.
  • Seed companies have also reported significant sales spikes as consumers turn to gardening, according to Politico.

Flashback: The number of households that grew their own food blossomed from 36 million to 42 million between 2008 and 2013, largely because of economic uncertainty triggered by the Great Recession, according to a National Gardening Association report.

Go deeper: Virus vices take a toll on Americans

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Updated 17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Business: New state unemployment filings fall.
  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: FDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment How the pandemic might endMany U.S. deaths were avoidable.
  5. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  6. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.

FBI: Russian hacking group stole data after targeting local governments

FBI Headquarters. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Energetic Bear, a Russian state-sponsored hacking group, has stolen data from two servers after targeting state and federal government networks in the U.S. since at least September, the FBI and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said on Thursday.

Driving the news: Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe announced Wednesday that Iran and Russia had obtained voter registration information that could be used to undermine confidence in the U.S. election system.

FDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment

A production line of Remdesivir. Photo: Fadel Dawood/picture alliance via Getty Images

Gilead Sciences on Thursday received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for remdesivir, an antiviral treatment that has shown modest results against treating COVID-19.

Why it matters: It's the first and only fully FDA-approved drug in the U.S. for treating the coronavirus.